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Vigil brothers have been driving Utah State defense

novembro 7, 2013 0

While most of the Aggies quickly jogged off Merlin Olsen Field in anticipation of warming up in the locker room, two of the players took a slightly different route. As big No. 53 attempted to follow the more direct path of the rest of the team, his left arm and/or wrist was constantly being tugged at by No. 41, who apparently still had some energy to burn.

Although he was clearly annoyed with the antics of his teammate,cheap jerseys No. 53 the one with the flowing locks apparently on their way to Clay Matthews length also had a slight smile on his face as he tried to stay on his desired path. The big grin on the mug of No. 41, meanwhile, was practically ear to ear because he could tell that his antics were having the desired effect of annoying his fellow Aggie.

By the time the duo reached the north end zone, it would have been blatantly obvious to anyone even if they couldn see the name emblazoned on the backs of both jerseys that the two Aggies are more than just teammates.

They siblings. And No. 41 the one with the short rat tail hanging off the back of his hair is clearly the annoying younger brother.

usually the one who pestering him, Nick Vigil admitted a few minutes later. usually the one that real serious, while I always kind of joking around and messing around with him.

Just a few yards away from where Nick had been doing his best to bother his big brother on Tuesday, the two linebackers quickly closed in on opposing quarterback Blake Jurich near the 20 yard line. The defensive scheme of USU coordinator Todd Orlando called for both Vigils to blitz, and although both of the brothers were initially picked up by SJSU lineman, they each fought off the attempted blocks with ease and broke into the Spartans backfield.

Technically, little brother Nick, a sophomore, was there first and got a hand on Jurich lower legs. But that when big brother Zach, the senior, arrived, finishing Jurich off with a blow to his upper body.

Just that fast, the Vigil brothers each had half a sack to celebrate, and the Spartans were in need of a new quarterback, as Jurich, who was already filling in for injured starter Joe Gray, had to be helped off the field with a sprained MCL in his left knee.

By the end of the night, Zach Vigil totaled 19 tackles, including 3 for loss, and 1 sacks, while Nick finished the 41 7 victory with a dozen tackles of his own.

But as impressive as the performance by the Vigils was against the Spartans, it something USU fans have become pretty accustomed to seeing. The week before in a win over New Mexico, Zach (10 tackles) and Nick (13 tackles) also both reached double digits to lead the Aggie defense.

was pretty cool, Zach said, honestly, that our job. The defensive line did a good job of keeping guys off of us. Coach Orlando always says that, that if Nick and I have a good day, that means the defensive line had a good day. And nothing could be more true when you play an option team like that.

Similarly, Zach Vigil gave most of the credit for his epic performance vs. Air Force on Oct. 11 to the USU defensive line. In that game against the triple option running Falcons, Vigil racked up 22 tackles the second most tackles ever by an Aggie, trailing just Brent Passey 23 against New Mexico State in 1999.

Zach also recorded one of USU most memorable plays of the year in the Air Force game when he broke up an attempted reverse deep in the Falcons backfield by taking out an opposing player on his way to the person with the ball.

told him he looked like Bobby Boucher from Waterboy, USU senior safety Frankie Sutera said. never seen anything like it. It was an awesome play. He just ran in there on fire.

Heading into Saturday night showdown at Boise State, Zach Vigil leads the Aggies (6 1 in the Mountain West, 9 3 overall) in tackles (133), tackles for loss (18.5) and sacks (8.0) and is second in quarterback hurries. He also had three pass breakups and returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown in the win over Wake Forest.

Overall, Zach is also first in the Mountain West and ninth in the nation in tackles for loss, and second in the conference and eighth in the country in total tackles (11.1 tpg).

the most dominant defensive player in the league, and I don think it even close, USU head coach Matt Wells said of the older Vigil. a bias, but no knock on any other linebacker. This kid has just gone up from the beginning of the season. He was second team All WAC as a sophomore, and second team All Mountain West last year.

me, he played himself into an NFL draft pick, and into being the defensive player of the year.

A standout at Clearfield High while playing primarily wide receiver and safety, the oldest of Jamie and Kayla Vigil five children was not highly sought after coming out of high school and ended up walking on at Utah State under then head coach Gary Andersen. The 6 foot 2, 232 pounder redshirted during the 2010 season and saw very limited action in 2011 before starting all 13 games as a sophomore and all 14 last season.

remember being at Cafe Rio with one of my friends as a freshman and thinking, just hope I play, any reps, Zach recalled. The transformation that I been able to have is honestly just a true blessing.

the good Lord watching over me, who knows where I be? I was put in the right place at the right time in the right situation for me, and I very humbled to be in the position I am today.

Little did Zach know during his meal at Cafe Rio that he was also creating a place, right time scenario for his little brother.

Two and a half years younger than Zach, Nick Vigil ended up starring at Fremont High after he and his family relocated from Clinton to West Warren during his sophomore year. The two brothers were very close before Zach headed up to Logan, playing football, basketball and baseball with their friends, and going hunting and fishing with their father.

pretty much played every sport and always played together, Nick said. had all the same friends pretty much kids in the neighborhood and we always hung out together outdoors.

also did rodeo. We rode miniature bulls for a while until Zach nearly broke his neck when he was about 11 and our parents made us quit.

Unlike his big brother, Nick had numerous collegiate options coming out of high school after being named the Utah 5A MVP in 2011, mostly for his offensive performance at running back 1,309 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on 211 carries as a senior.

Nick was recruited by Utah and BYU and received a scholarship offer from Weber State, after I got the scholarship offer from Coach Andersen, I called him about a week later and committed. I was pretty sure this is where I wanted to go.

Nick redshirted in 2012, then emerged as a top newcomer in the Mountain West in 2013. He saw action in all 14 games as a sophomore, started four times and was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week in late November after racking up 3 sacks and four tackles for loss in a blowout of Wyoming.

The Aggies were already expecting big things out of Nick this year, but as the team has had to absorb numerous injuries to the linebacker corps, Vigil ability to thrive on both the inside and outside has been vital. And then there was the BYU game.

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